The Next Tourism Generation (NTG) Alliance has developed a free to use Toolkit to address sustainability and digital skills gaps
The Next Tourism Generation (NTG) Alliance has developed a free to use Toolkit to address sustainability and digital skills gaps. It will help recovery from the pandemic as digital upskilling and consumer demand for sustainable holidays have become increasingly important. The Toolkit will be useful to education and training providers, employers, government departments, non-governmental organisations, and individuals. It will enable stakeholders to review contemporary green, social and digital skills requirements in tourism and hospitality and enable them to develop and/or update provision, resources, and career guidance. The Toolkit is comprehensive and contains:
The survey link is https://cardiffmet.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0w8h0qWNRoK6idE
The Home Office has updated the Right to Work Guidance for employers which relates to the need for employers to check the status of non-uk nationals to make sure that they are legally able to work in the UK. As a result of the government’s announcement on 14 June 2021 to extend the date for the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, the temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks will now end on 31 August 2021. From 1 September 2021, employers will revert to face-to-face and physical document checks as set out in legislation and guidance. This will ensure employers have sufficient notice to put measures in place to enable face-to-face document checks.
Members of the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) have given a blunt “No way” reaction to the Welsh Government’s proposed tourism tax consultation.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has claimed that the tax, charged to people visiting Wales, would benefit the tourism industry. But members of the WTA, which represents all sectors of tourism industry in Wales, unanimously disagreed at their meeting today.
In its five-year plan, published on Tuesday, the Welsh Government pledged to consult on legislation that would permit local authorities to raise such a levy.
WTA chairman Andrew Campbell blasted the timing of the tax proposal as insensitive and said it showed a lack of respect to the tourism industry in Wales when a recruitment crisis is hampering recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The feeling around the table was ‘No way’,” he said. “ Not only will it make the industry less competitive, sending out a perception that Wales will be a more expensive destination to visit, but businesses are already struggling to bounce back financially from the pandemic.
“Businesses might have reopened but they now have to pay all the bills that have been pushed back. VAT is going to be restored to normal in September, furlough is finishing, and loans have to be repaid.
“Rather than proposing a new tax, the Welsh Government should be focusing on financial support to help the sector.
“The First Minister pointed out that tourism tax has been successfully introduced in many destinations throughout the world. That may be true, but many of those destinations do not have to contend with VAT rates of 20%.
“The average VAT rate within Eurozone countries for instance is 10%. The tax burden placed upon our businesses is already high.”
Mr Campbell stated that the implementation of such a tax would also affect supply chains and would disproportionately impact upon lower income groups who are already struggling to afford a holiday in Wales
“The Welsh Government will consult with the industry, but the answer will be ‘No’ to the tax. Charging visitors more is not the solution to any problems associated with visitor management. A more sustainable approach is required, based upon better planning and greater dialogue with local communities.”
For more information, please contact either Andrew Campbell, Wales Tourism Alliance chairman, on Tel: 07791 302589 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations adviser, on Tel: 01686 650818.
The UK Tourism Recovery Plan has just been published, setting out the role that the UK government will play in assisting and accelerating the tourism sector's recovery from COVID-19. It is a detailed plan, with a Sustainable Tourism Plan still to follow. Of most interest is that it confirms the Government ‘currently has no plans to introduce a tourism tax’ for England (49). There will be also be a consultation on a Tourist Accommodation Registration Scheme (90) to achieve ‘an improved national picture of the precise shape of the accommodation landscape’ and a ‘commitment to review the current Package Travel Regulations in the UK, with a view to enabling businesses in the visitor economy to offer greater choice to consumers’ (48.).
ELT Schools appeal: Covid-19 pandemic has caused a catastrophic impact on English Language Teaching (ELT) industry. Luckily, ELT in Wales were included in the government's list of sectors eligible for business rates relief and tourism and hospitality related grants which have been a lifeline for us to survive during the earlier stages of the pandemic. However, we need further support to survive. In 2020, English language teaching schools lost over 80% of their business. Despite the success of the UK Covid-19 vaccine programme, the emergence of new variants and ongoing travel restrictions mean the industry now faces another devastating year, especially with the loss of a second summer season.
We have decided to organise a "Post-Bag Mailout Campaign" to raise awareness of the issues that we are facing. We are asking our colleagues, employees, friends and family, suppliers, host families, stakeholders and anyone else with an interest in supporting our industry. We would like every MP or MS with a language school in his or her constituency (as well as some who don't) to receive at least 20 copies of the same email. Therefore, we would very much appreciate your support to join this campaign. Here is the instruction:
Thank you for helping the English language teaching industry in Wales at this difficult time. Can we ask you just to take a few minutes to send the email below to your local MS and MP for the area in which you live? We need as many people as possible to do this so that our voice is heard and we get the support that we deserve. The way to do this is very simple:
New smoking laws were introduced into Wales which affect the tourism industry all hotels, guesthouses, inns, hostels and members’ clubs. From the 1st March 2022 they must be smoke-free and will no longer be able to offer designated smoking bedrooms. All self-contained holiday and temporary accommodation, such as cottages, caravans, chalets and lodges will also have to be non-smoking. Owners should therefore prepare to convert any of their smoking accommodation/ designated smoking bedrooms to smoke-free ready for 1 March 2022 - after this date it will be against the law to smoke in these areas and a fine could be issued. Further information on how these changes affects the tourism industry can be found on the Business Wales website.
The cruise industry resumes its sailings to Wales with the first cruise ship sailing into Swansea since the beginning of the pandemic on the 21st June. It will form part of the first phase of cruise restart for fully vaccinated UK residence. The first passengers to arrive into Swansea Port will be on board Noble Caledonia Island Sky will with significantly reduced passenger numbers of 68 due to social distancing on board. They will be able to take part in organised shore excursions under strict rules and guidelines. The Island Sky will also call at Fishguard on 22nd June and at Holyhead Port on 23rd June. Island Sky’s sister ship, the Hebridean Sky, will also call into Swansea on the 24th June. For further information on cruise line protocols go to The Operators Framework for UK Cruise Operations during COVID- 19 on the Chamber of Shipping website.
New Economy Minister confirms further Welsh Government support for businesses impacted by phased move to alert level 1
Businesses in Wales materially affected by the phased move to alert level 1, such as indoor attractions and wedding venues, will receive £2.5 million in further support from Welsh Government, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has announced today (14/06/21). Since 17 May, businesses in Wales still affected by coronavirus restrictions have been able to apply for up to £25,000 in emergency support to help meet ongoing costs until the end of June.
Additional funding is now being made available to support businesses affected by the staged transition to alert level 1, due to the impact the delta variant of COVID-19 is having on transmission rates. The staging takes account of concerns over the impact the delta variant of COVID-19 is having on transmission rates and potential increase in hospitalisations. Support will be available for businesses that have capacity for events of more than 30 people indoors or in contained spaces and to businesses that are still closed because of ongoing restrictions.
To receive the funding, businesses will need to have applied to the Welsh Government’s latest round of emergency funding, the deadline for which has been extended until 12pm Wednesday 16 June 2021. Eligible applicants will automatically receive the top-up where possible, or will be required to self-declare via a simple online process. Details are available on the Business Wales website: COVID-19 Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) Business Support – May and June 2021 Eligibility Checker.
From today (07/06/2021) Wales starts moving to alert level one, which now means that:
The Welsh Government will consider further changes to the regulations on indoor activity later this month (June 2021) if public health conditions allow.
He also announced that in light of the changes being announced today, the application window for the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) has been extended until the end of June 2021 in order to support sectors further impacted by these changes, specifically those wedding, events and attractions venues with capacity for more than 30 guests. The Welsh Government is working with impacted sectors to top up the current ERF package for the May and June period. Businesses that have already applied do not need to take further action.
Full Welsh Government details here: https://gov.wales/alert-level-1-guide